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The Problem with Vision Erosion

December 18, 2017 — by John Parker


There are thousands of churches across the United States, and each church has its own story and uniqueness. How is that story being communicated, internally and externally? Does your church communicate who you are?


Imagine that you’re redesigning your church. Your main goal is to effectively convey the story of your missions and programs. Your church has some great programs that include providing shoes for children, digging wells to provide clean water, and sponsoring various overseas mission trips. Missions are the heartbeat of your church. You envision that all of the communication and interaction surrounding missions is going to happen in your church’s lobby, café, or other gathering areas.


So, you hire an architect. He knows the vision, but his main focus is on the facility—what the walls, floors, and ceilings of the building will look like—not necessarily what will go inside of it. Then, a contractor comes along. He’s going to build out the space, and he’s aware that there may be some items that might go on the walls. At some point in the process, the contractor realizes he’s missing some area. He needs to use another wall for some storage, and needs another space to put an information booth.


The project is completed. You’ve got a lobby that has an information booth and shelving to display items from the countries where your church hosts mission trips. It’s a nice lobby—but something’s missing. Your initial vision has completely been eliminated. Why? Because the architect and contractor weren’t in tune with your primary goal: to build out a space that would communicate your church’s main goal of missions and outreach.


When I worked for Disney, we found that the story and vision for a particular ride, attraction or land that we developed was so important that we actually had a show producer write the script for the narrative of an area. Even when it came to describing a merchandise shop, the narrative told the story of what that merchandise store was supposed to be and even the backstory of the family that may have owned it. All of these details informed those who were involved to keep true to the story of the space.


The reality is, if you don’t have a consistent, cohesive team that is part of the original narrative and walking through the entire build process together, you’re ultimately going to experience some level of VISION EROSION. Designers, architects, and contractors involved in the project will often make decisions and choices without the benefit of being informed, thereby eroding the final product.


The problem of vision erosion doesn’t just apply to construction. In almost anything, whether you’re developing a script or in the planning stages of a wedding, those initial discussions you have are important because they set the basis for the larger narrative of what you’re trying to accomplish. There is a huge benefit to having a team that knows your vision from the beginning and can make informed decisions throughout the process that align with those initial goals.


Here at Visioneering, we have the great benefit of having continuity and context for all the Design-Build projects we work on. Our entire team knows the story that accompanies your vision, and our designers and contractors work together to craft that vision and build a project that uses your money and time wisely. We believe that every building tells a story, and every space is unique. Our Design-Build process is design-led and centered around highlighting the larger narrative of your organization. Through Design-Build, we can help you develop a different kind of build—one that stewards both your story and your space well— so you can launch your inspired vision into reality.


This article is an excerpt from our free resource, DEMOLISHED. Download your copy today at If you’d like to eliminate vision erosion from your building process today, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you.

vision erosion


Destination: Visioneering Studios West

September 6, 2011 — by John Parker

Visioneering Studios West

We recently had a chance to host our first-ever “open-house” of our new Visioneering Studios-West location. However, rather than a familiar crowd of family and friends, we opened ourselves up to the “friendly fire” of some of the top international theme park & attraction designers in the world. We hosted the Themed Entertainment Association, what I jokingly refer to as the “ex-Disney/Universal recovery group.” TEA represents the “creators of compelling places and experiences.”

The Garden Room

It was a wonderful opportunity to connect with old friends and industry alumni, as well as to announce the launch of our very own VSI Leisure Group, a studio within Visioneering re-focusing on the industry that was our “training camp.”
I personally enjoyed walking guys that “Imagineered” EPCOT through our space, which was designed to be a metaphoric walk from the “Garden” to the “City”, following the story arc of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Upon entering our lobby, visitors enter a “spa-like” lobby with exotic hardwoods, and exotic curios collected from our Third World community development projects.

Uptown "Corporate" District

The journey progresses towards towards a more “corporate district” made up of cooler tones. We ended the evening loitering in Visioneering’s SoHo lounge, representing the cultural creative bohemian downtown district.

SoHo Lounge a.k.a. "my office"

“Everyone was overwhelmingly impressed with your projects and facility…We appreciate your participation in TEA and look forward to another successful “Behind the Orange Curtain” event soon”.
-Lynn Allmandinger, TEA Western Division V.P.